Captain - Andrew Johnstone
- Captain Andrew Johnstone has a true dedication to the sea. His maritime career is well marked by his excellent reputation and longevity in his career. Thirty years at sea started with a nascent interest in sailing and racing in Andrew’s youth. Family holidays were launched from his hometown of Victoria, British Columbia and spent cruising the waters of Vancouver Island. Applying the same dedication and determination that he continues to display today, Andrew paid his way through university by working his summers on oceanographic research ships as a deckhand. His education completed, Andrew spent the briefest time in an office job, where it took him none too long to figure that stuck behind a desk is not where he’s mean to be. His future fate was sealed when he made the decision to take a six month “sabbatical” and booked a one way ticket to St. Thomas.
- Having very methodical and meticulous inclinations, Andrew first started his yachting career as an engineer for eight years but later morphed into a deck officer on the urging of an old Captain. Now, having since circumnavigated the globe twice, his passports certainly have been through lots of wear and tear and numerous stamps to say the least! His favourite cruising areas are Papua, New Guinea - great diving for this Dive Master - and the picturesque and remote islands of New Hebrides.
- Life after yachting? Andrew seeks to retire with his wife to his property in the Dominican Republic where he can enjoy his wildlife photography hobby, play many rounds of golf, and whittle away the twilight hours in his woodworking shop.
- We are so pleased to have welcome Andrew aboard. He has a solid history of keeping a stable and safe environment on his yachts as well as maintaining a professional and happy crew, thusly creating an ideal backdrop in which you can relax and surrender yourself completely to your holiday aboard Solemates.
Chief Officer - Wade Riley
Wade surveyed the bevy of sparkling yachts from his helm at the Disney ferry docked at Castaway Cay Bahamas, and thought to himself, “How do I get on one of those?” He’d already travelled far from his home in Shelley Beach, Australia, to Disney’s island always striving for the next challenge ahead, Wade entered yachting in 2003 as a deckhand and headed off for his first Mediterranean season. Many charter “milk runs” later and a few detours via Central America and the South Pacific, Wade joins Solemates excited to participate in its journey to more exotic locales. But what’s his favourite place in the world? The local beach at home with its golden sands and clear water. Why? His family and friends are close by! Wade is fully appreciative of all that life has to offer and commits himself 110% to all he does whether its swimming nonstop 12 miles for charity, fishing for Alaskan Salmon, or dressing up in character for chartered events (think Easter Bunny, Santa, a pirate - the list goes on!). Solemates is very happy to have him Wade onboard along with his expertise and enthusiasm.
Bosun - Simon Matthews
- Born in Cape Town on the Southern tip of Africa, Simon had an affinity for the water at an early age. Whether it was surfing, sailing or waterskiing; water was top of his recreation list. Simon also has a creative streak, studying art and graphic design both at school level and later getting a BA in Brand Comms.(Graphic Art and Photography). Besides freelancing, Simon taught art classes in silkscreen printing and started a small clothing label using this trade. It was however in 2008 that he decided to pursue a career in yachting and has not looked back since. He has added Yachtmaster and Divemaster to his skill set and has done two Atlantic crossings on both sail and power vessels. Although removed from his studio environment Simon is never without one of his cameras - above or below the water and always ready to capture that next shot.
Deckhand - Travis Joffe
- Travis can tell you that the ocean is a dynamic and compelling entity. Since the age of 12, Travis has been an avid surfer having learned in the locale of his coastal hometown Ballito, South Africa. At the age of 16, he became a qualified lifeguard and worked as such through his university years. He then went on to pick up fishing, scuba diving and wakeboarding on weekends and holidays from his work as an architect. With each new activity and interaction, his affinity for the ocean grew until it eventually beckoned him to put his initial career on hold in order to ride the waves on something bigger than his surfboard. Now with a year in the industry under his belt, Travis is thrilled with his career move and remains ever enthused!
Deckhand - Nicholas Coghlan
Known for its abundance of beaches and surf breaks, Newcastle, Australia is home to Nick where he was a regular on the surf scene growing up. Nick turned professional surfer in 2003 traveling internationally and competing in the world qualifying tour. Having enjoyed this profession for 5 years, he was fortunate enough to compete in Australia, Europe, America, South Africa, China and maybe his favorite . . . Japan. Living in Japan for some time, in between surf competitions, Nick worked as a paid professional lifeguard where he was trained in Advanced First Aid, Advanced Resuscitation, Spinal Treatment and holds a Professional Ocean Lifeguard Award. In 2007, Nick embarked on a new career in the superyacht industry. He feels a lot of satisfaction in the work involved in yachting and enjoys that he can make a contribution to the enjoyment of someone’s holiday. Nick has an infectiously positive outlook on life and understands that in life “you miss 100% of the chances that you don’t take”.
Deckhand - Andrew Mead
A sailing instructor for seven years out of Perth Australia, Andrew yearned to stretch his sea legs farther afield. Full of encouragement from his sailor friends, he headed off to the Mediterranean to put his boat handling and maintenance skills to the test; his strong water sports background an added plus for an industry based on fun and adventure on the water! Kiteboarding, snowboarding, diving – you name it - he does it. In his time off, Andrew is a consummate traveler having already been to five out of seven continents while South America and Antarctica currently remain on his bucket list. His presence is a further testament to the kindred and adventurous spirit alive in Solemate’s crew and guests alike.
Chief Engineer - Michael Donelly
Pitching in with repairs around the home, it was evident at an early age that Mick had a natural talent and penchant for fixing and building things. He dabbled in carpentry prior to further refining his skill set in 8 years as an Engineer in the Royal Australian Navy. Working in a “hands on” management role, he was responsible for 15+ naval vessels. In 2004, life took an interesting turn when Mick took his first yacht job via a friend’s recommendation. Most recently, Mick spent several months completing an extended refit of a one of a kind 44m ‘race yacht’ powered by twin 1,925hp Caterpillar diesel engines and one Vericor gas turbine: a technical feat to which he completed to great success. In his free time, Mick enjoys any outdoor activity, especially, exploring unblemished paradises epitomized by the likes of the Mamanuca and Yasawa islands of Fiji of which is his current favourite destination. But what always remains is Mick’s love of simply spending time with his immediate and extended family. Having already worked with Mick on a previous vessel, Capt. Andrew and the rest of the crew are happy to welcome Mick to Solemates.
2nd Engineer - Rahula Brown
Rahula is a proud country man hailing from the Mocho Mountain in Jamaica. He enjoys reggae music and reading car magazines. From an early age Rahula discovered that he had a natural gift of fixing things which led to him pursuing his dreams of becoming a Marine Engineer. After a few years of working as a Mechanical Technician at a power company, the time came to transfer his skills into the yachting industry. Yachting has enabled Rahula to experience his true love for engines and adventure. Over a year ago he joined M/Y IL Sole on a refit and then cruised the Atlantic. Following this voyage Rahula was more motivated than ever to continue his adventures in yachting and seek new and exciting destinations. Rahula is extremely happy and elated to be a crew member of such an elite vessel as Solemates.
Chef - Megan Reichman
- At the age of five, Megan received an Easy-Bake Oven: Its incandescent light bulb not only cooked up yummy little cakes, but sparked a flame of culinary interest and intrigue that could not be quelled. A culinary scientist running amok, Megan was given free rein in her family kitchen. She then went on to receive a degree in culinary arts and food service management as well as a Masters in Hospitality and Business from Johnson and Wales University, Rhode Island. Always top of her class, Megan won many a cooking competition and rewards then went on to work as Chef de Cuisine with the Four Seasons/Regent Hotel group. The discovery of the yachting industry appealed greatly to Megan who is always interested in pushing herself beyond barriers. While she had already had great experiences cooking for some of the world’s most discerning clientele, she was enticed by the freedom and challenges of creating food without borders or menu restrictions. Megan has since worked on board yachts since 2000 and continues to receive many high accolades and media articles for her craft. We are pleased to have such a wonderful talent as Megan aboard Solemates.
Sous Chef - Nikki Davis
- Nikki is originally from Zimbabwe where she grew up boating and having learnt to water ski before she could walk. After many years of restaurant kitchen work in various locations around the world Nikki decided to put two passions together and found her way to yachting. Nikki’s zest for her present position is fueled in part from her love of creation, adaptation and change, she sees these movements as exciting opportunities to learn and also to push boundaries. Nikki loves chasing the sun, meeting people from all walks of life and doubts that her wonderlust will ever leave her.
Chief Stewardess - Charlotte Southon
With a zealous enthusiasm for innovation and perfection, Solemate’s Chief Stewardess Charlie lives to surprise! Charlie started her high end hospitality career well equipped having graduated with honors from Bornemouth University with a Tourism Studies degree. From there, she worked for reputable luxury tourism companies such as Abercrombie & Kent, and Neilson, whose Chamonix base manages fifty ski resorts. Since 2005, Charlie has been on the high seas further honing her front of house and operational skills to become a truly experienced and professional Chief Stewardess. Her passion is clear, effervescent and contagious. She and the rest of the Solemates team endeavor to provide you with the ultimate in onboard service tailored specifically to your special needs and sense of fun.
2nd Stewardess - Anika Ziemann
Anika grew up in a small village in East Germany. As well as completing a degree in Office Management, Anika spent some time working in the hospitality industry before deciding to follow her sisters footsteps into the yachting industry. Anika’s great sense of colors, design and fashion are a great asset to the Interior Department exemplified by her stunning table decorations and flower arrangements. She is not new to the yachting life and has for some six years made professional yachting her career. Anika is highly motivated, approachable and works to very high self imposed standards. She loves all kinds of sports, running, yoga, snowboarding and hiking to name just a few.
Stewardess - Andrea Triegaardt
Andrea has an intertwining passion for the land and sea. Having grown up on an ocean side farm in her homeland of South Africa, she has a total appreciation for the great outdoors. Andrea spent 2 years in the yachting industry from 2004-2006, before taking a hiatus from the industry and obtaining a degree in Interior Architecture. In between intense studying, Andrea still found time to compete in sail races, go fishing, wakeboarding and enjoying time with her family and pets. Rewarded for her hard work and balanced lifestyle, she graduated Cum Laude, after which she then spent some time freelancing in her area of study. Andrea now returns to yachting with the same effort of dedication and discipline that she puts into everything she does. She’s looking to enjoy some years in the industry before heading back to her architect’s desk.
Stewardess - Edyta Fizyczak
Edyta spent her youth in Kolobrzeg, a beautiful and idyllic city on the Baltic Sea: a popular tourist destination visited by many arriving via cruise liners and yachts. Working in high end restaurants and then later, owning her own bar, “Edi” enjoyed listening to travel stories of her clients until one day she decided she wanted stories of her own and a change was in order. In 2004, she signed up with Carnival Cruise Lines and set out on the sea. Two years later, Edi entered into the super yacht industry armed already with the strong work ethic and dedication needed to succeed in the industry as proven in 2008 and again in 2009 when her crewmates and she were awarded Best Crew of the St. Maarten Charter Show. Living what she considers to be a dream come true, she lives life in the present and determined to make the best of everyday.
Stewardess - Jeanne Meter
Having grown up along an estuary in the small coastal town of Knysna, South Africa, Jeanne has always been involved with a life connected to the water and nature: canoeing, waterskiing, diving, hiking, running outdoors. A bright and inquisitive young woman, Jeanne completed a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and went on to complete her Honours in Immunology and Infectious Disease. No stranger to hard work, she worked her way through university as a waitress with an events company. At the completion of her education, Jeanne desired to see more of the world. She had already done quite a bit of exploration travel within her home country and looking to spread her water wings to further horizons, joined the yachting industry in 2010. Jeanne has a lovely easygoing and friendly disposition perfect for Solemates.